This week, CCFC Chair Diana Roy of Resendiz Brothers Protea and I traveled to Washington, D.C., together to meet with members of the new Congress and their staffs to discuss some of our goals and objectives for 2017. With a new administration and a lot of new members in key flower-farming regions around the country, it was an important opportunity to get a sense of the temperature and appetite for addressing the issues and opportunities we see ahead in 2017.
With the help of Bill Frymoyer of Stewart and Stewart, we had a very busy agenda that included our participation and sponsorship of the California State Society’s Inauguration Luncheon. Alongside the California Wine Institute and Western Growers, the California Cut Flower Commission was responsible for adding the splash of California Grown beauty at the center of every table.
And recognizing the mantra of the incoming administration, we also made sure that those seated at every table knew that the flowers were Certified American Grown.
We wrapped up our busy week by attending the Presidential Inauguration on Friday, thanks to tickets provided to us by Senator Diana Feinstein’s office. The atmosphere was festive, very patriotic and peaceful. Based on historical accounts from seasoned inauguration attendees, we went assuming the worst, long lines, protesters and tough security, but were impressed with how well-organized and protected the event was. Hats off to all of the law enforcement and military who were working together before, during and after the ceremony to ensure everyone had a safe and positive experience as we all witnessed the transfer of power between administrations.
These meetings before our upcoming meetings in February give me great confidence that this year’s annual Fly-In to Washington, D.C., will be the most important trip we have ever hosted. We’ll have farmers flying in and participating from a number of states to help represent why this administration needs to take a serious look at the jobs and opportunities that have been lost to off-shore production due to an unlevel playing field, and how, with just a few changes, growing America Grown Flowers can be great again.
If you’re an American flower farmer, join us Feb. 28 in Washington D.C., for two days of meetings and advocating you do not want to miss.